Home Articles China tightens rules in Macao to avoid Hong Kong-type unrest: Report

China tightens rules in Macao to avoid Hong Kong-type unrest: Report



China is tightening its grip in Macao with the planned election and national security measures in the area, including revision of its national security law, to prevent any political crisis like that in nearby Hong Kong from taking root in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, according to a media report.

The Macao government said it “will step up effort to improve governance, and optimize the city’s legal provisions regarding national security and their respective implementation,” in a December 16 statement on the publication of its 2021-25 five-year plan, reported Voice Of America (VOA).

Officials in the territory seek to “complete” the national security law, push forward enactment of terrorism and communications interception laws, strengthen enforcement of entry restrictions, and “improve” the election system, said the US publication citing the official plan document.

The document also stated that the fresh improvement in the election system will ensure the city’s governance is safe and sound in the hands of patriots.

Under the plan, Macao, designated a “special administrative region” by Beijing, will “formulate positive and negative lists of swearing allegiance to the SAR and relevant qualification examination mechanisms to regulate the way legislators perform their duties,” according to VOA.

Michael Cunningham, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center specialising in Chinese politics, said that the election changes are an official step to eliminate any possibility that the pro-establishment camp will lose control of Macao. Stressing that the existing system is already very much stacked in favour of the pro-Beijing establishment, Cunningham said that the government wants to make sure it stays this way, regardless of how public opinion or political dynamics may shift in the coming years and decades.

Jason Buhi, assistant professor at the Barry University Law School and the author of The Constitutional History of Macau, said that the change skewing the election law toward the pro-establishment camp follows numerous steps in recent years.

Buhi believes that Beijing seeks to maintain a veneer of democracy in Macau while obscuring the realities of its tightly-held system through Byzantine administrative procedures capable of challenging the comprehension of trained political scientists. (ANI)China tightens rules in Macao to avoid Hong Kong-type unrest: Report



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